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Posted on: April 4, 2019

Liberty Lake Library Goes "Fine Free"

No More Fines Image

As of April 1, 2019, the Liberty Lake Municipal Library will be fine free. This means that there will no longer be any overdue fines for items checked out at the library. Charges for lost or damaged items still apply.

What does “Fine Free” mean?

  • Fines are fees charged for overdue materials. “Fine free” refers to eliminating fees charged for returning library materials after their due dates.
  • Lost and damaged fees, and fees for Interlibrary Loan materials, will still apply.
  • The library will continue to charge small fees for services like printing and photocopying.
  • The library will be waiving most outstanding overdue fines balances for Liberty Lake cardholders.

Why is the library eliminating overdue fines?

  • It’s good for our community. Charging overdue fines does not support the library mission to enrich lives and build community.
  • Late fines are not effective. Studies have shown that small fines have no impact on return rates, and find no difference in overdue rates between libraries charging fines and libraries not charging fines.
  • The library incurs expenses to collect fines, including staff time.
  • Overdue fines disproportionately impact those with limited incomes.

We know that you try to get items returned on time, but sometimes life gets in the way. So even though overdue fines won't apply, here are some tips to make sure items are returned in a timely fashion:

  • Items can still be returned at any CIN library.
  • Patrons can use the My Account feature to see your checkouts and due dates. https://catalog.cin.bywatersolutions.com/
  • Make sure you are signed up for text and/or email alerts. You'll get a notification 3 days before your items are due, 7 days after they’re due, and at 35 days overdue after we mark the items as “lost.” 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I still need to return my library books?
Yes! Items that are kept 30 days past their due date are considered lost. Your library account will be suspended and you will be billed for the replacement cost. Items that are damaged will also be assessed a replacement charge.

What if there are still fines on my library account?
We are currently working to waive past fines, but it is a process. It may take a few weeks or longer to complete that work. No new fines for materials checked out from the Liberty Lake Library will be charged as of April 1. You may have fines from other CIN libraries that we are not able to waive, or fees for lost or damaged items. Please ask a library staff member if you have any questions, and we’d be happy to go over your account with you.

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